Submitted by Sami, Social Media Team Leader.
Today, the Senate released their health care bill (read the bill here (link)), and it is being called the single most devastating piece of legislation in American history. One would generally assume that is an overreaction, but once you read the details of the bill (link), it’s hard to argue with that assessment.
The bill aims to fundamentally destroy Medicaid, by phasing out the expansions created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and gutting their general budget. Let’s look at some figures regarding Medicaid:
This is a huge portion of Americans who will be harmed. 75 million Americans – equal to the populations of 30 states combined and then some – get their insurance through Medicaid.
And that’s just the start.
For those who rely on government subsidies to pay for their health insurance, this bill will lower the amount of assistance they receive, as well as lowering the income level at which someone is eligible, and will only pay for less generous plans. In short, you’ll be paying more for less coverage.
The bill cuts funding to Planned Parenthood, which is, contrary to public opinion, NOT just an abortion clinic. Many low income women use Planned Parenthood for basic necessary health services and will be left without options for these services.
If you buy your own health care, this bill allows insurance companies to sell insurance to people with pre-existing conditions but not cover those conditions. Basically, you can buy insurance but that insurance doesn’t have to cover your conditions.
Lifetime caps are back, for those of you with employer health care who thought they would be fine. A premature baby could reach that lifetime cap before they’re even born and be denied health insurance coverage for their entire life.
Not only that, but the bill allows states to opt-out of things like the basic essential coverage and sell insurance that doesn’t cover the basic needs of the average person – such as doctor’s visits, medications, maternity care, mental health services, and pretty much anything else the insurance companies don’t want to cover.
The bill also removes many of the taxes imposed by the ACA and is generally designed to cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans and the insurance companies themselves.
This is a cruel bill that holds no regard for the health and livelihoods of poor and middle-class Americans and is no better than what the House passed last month. And they want to pass it by the 4th of July recess.
How can we allow them to rush this through, knowing how harmful it will be to the majority of the country? Simple answer, we cannot. We have to fight this with all that we’ve got because THIS is the issue of our time.
Russian interference in our election is important, as are many other issues going on in the country under this administration. But this issue is life and death for the majority of the country and it should be one we can unite on.
Call your Senators. Even if you know they don’t support the bill, let them know they are right and that their constituents are behind them. Urge them to action. Urge them to find a solution.
And if your Senator is supporting this bill you have to fight hardest of all. Let them know that we are watching. Let them know that we will be ready to act when they are up for reelection. Let them know that if they sign this bill, they will be forever tied to the consequences.
Look at these images from Mitch McConnell’s office today. These images will define this time in American history, one way or another. It’s up to us and our representatives to decide which way that will go.